This Christmas Eve, I got to go to my maternal grandparent's get-together, which I haven't been to in about 3 years. My mother's side of the family is, well, the word eccentric comes to mind. And loud. Loud and eccentric. And large. That fits. After about an hour in their presence, stick a fork in me, I'm done. It's like when you're in a hot, stuffy, room and you just need some fresh air. The noise, the chaos, the attempting to have a conversation in the midst of it all is suffocating. Seriously, my Mom is the only sane one of the bunch. Hehe...if any of my aunties are reading this...you know I love you :).
Christmas eve night, my son made a blanket tent in the middle of the living room and excitedly declared that he was going to sleep there all night and wait for Santa. Now, we've had the Santa talk--Santa is not real. Although it is fun to pretend about Santa at Christmas, he is just a made-up person that does not exist. Mom & Dad buy your presents and put them under the tree. The real reason for Christmas is celebrating Jesus' birthday, and why He came (abbreviated version). But I guess Gran-Gran and he were having a little fun 'pretending', so I let it go and played along. I really didn't think he would do it, but he did! He slept there, on the floor (on a blanket) all night. I think each of us got up and checked on him at some point in the night, and someone covered him up with an extra blanket. The next morning, he as so excited, thinking Santa had came in and covered him up while he was asleep. Isn't that cute?
Christmas morning, my Mom fixed an awesome breakfast for us. One of our traditions is to have sparkling grape juice served in wine glasses for breakfast. None of us drink, so it makes us feel fancy, I guess. After breakfast, it's a mad scramble to get everyone dressed and Christmas dinner started. The more kids we have, the madder this scramble becomes. Which brings me back to the previously mentioned 'simplicity'. Or should I say the absence of it. From there on out, we are rushing, plowing through the day, so we can get the dinner perfectly cooked and on the table. Sometimes I wish we could just have a small, simple meal that does not require such stress. Or maybe I'm the only one feeling the stress?
Aahh...I could really dig into this breakfast right now. Suddenly my oatmeal doesn't look so good!
When my brother and his family arrives, we open presents. This is a wonderful, chaotic time of ripping paper and exclamation. I just said wonderful and chaotic in the same sentence. We started a new tradition this year--starting with the oldest child, the grandchildren will take turns reading the Christmas story each year. My 7 year old nephew read it this year, having been practicing for a few weeks, and he did a great job! Next year, it will be my oldest son reading it. Wow! Hard to believe.
The madness and mayhem:
I got some awesome gifts from my family--a new "flat" wallet from my Mom with (the best part) some cold, hard, cash tucked inside. And from my dear sis-in-law--THIS.
AWESOME! I've just recently discovered the Pioneer Woman's blog, so I was tickled to get her awesome cookbook! But I said awesome already, didn't I? Thank you, Monica!!!
Saturday, we left at lunchtime to meet up with John's sister and her family, who live about 2 hours from my parents. We went to the mall, where I shopped a little and Gracie got to go bunjee jumping! Well, you know, the scaled-down version they have in the mall. She's my little daredevil. Loved it! Elijah got to ride a train, too! Thank you, Wendi, for a great time! And the great pics.
Wendi & Ben adopted three children from Columbia, three years ago and are in the process of bringing another little sister home! If you'd like to read about their journey and donate to their adoption fund, go to www.iwillnotleaveyouasorphans.blogspot.com
That about wraps it up! Exciting weekend, huh? It's good to be home!